Salute to the Sun

Salute to the Sun is a wonderful series of exercises comprised of seven asanas performed in a particular sequence, combined with yoga breathing.

It’s a little hard to practice just by reading the instructions, so I recommend you watch the video first.

Caution: If you have high blood pressure, be sure to consult your doctor before practicing Salute to the Sun.

Prayer Pose

Stand with feet and palms together. Exhale completely, contracting your abdomen to squeeze all the air from your lungs.

Reaching Backbend

Inhale, contracting your buttocks as you raise your arms and arch back as far as comfortable. Separate your hands.

Standing Forward Bend

Exhale as you fold from your hips, bringing your hands to the floor or to your shins. Bend your knees if you need to.

Equestrian Pose

Step your left foot back, lowering your knee. Inhale fully as you arch upward, keeping your fingertips on the floor.

Summit Pose

Exhale as you lower your chest to your thigh and step your right foot back, lifting your hips high and lowering your heels to the floor if you can.

Ashtanga Pose

Inhale as you lower your knees to the ground and sit back on your heels. Exhale and move your body forward so your chin and chest rest lightly on the ground. Your buttocks stay up.

Cobra

Lower your hips to the ground, then inhale as you arch your spine upward.

Summit Pose

Exhale fully as you lift your hips high, pressing your torso toward your thighs in an upside down V-shape. 

Equestrian Pose

Inhale and step your left foot forward into a lunge. Let your hips sink down as you arch your spine, fingertips on the floor.

Standing Forward Bend

Exhale, lower your chest, and step your right foot forward to meet the left. Lengthen your spine downward. Bend your knees if you need to.

Reaching Backbend

Inhale as you roll your spine up, you can bend your knees to help protect your back. Bring your palms together, then reach your arms up and back, separating your hands.

Prayer Pose

Exhale as you bring your hands to your chest in Prayer Pose once again.

Repeat the sequence as many times as you like, alternating the leg you step back or forward into Equestrian Pose. Lie down and rest for a few minutes when you’re finished.

Benefits

  • Loosens tendons, muscles, and joints
  • Fully stretches your spine
  • Massages your internal organs
  • Stimulates the production of hormones
  • Brings balance to the various systems of the body
  • Purifies your lungs of stale and toxic air (provided you don’t practice in a polluted atmosphere)
  • Oxygenates your blood
  • Increases vitality and makes you more alert
  • Relieves mental tension and stress

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